Eating Local? How About Eggs from Your Own Back Yard?

Eating Local? How About Eggs from Your Own Back Yard?

Food & Drink

Eating Local? How About Eggs from Your Own Back Yard?

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By Cari Martens

“Eggs-cuse me? There are chickens in my neighbor’s back yard!”

Apparently, chicken keeping has become quite chic in in a growing number of urban and suburban neighborhoods in the U.S. Just as many suburbanites are growing vegetables in their backyard gardens, folks are also collecting eggs for their omelets from Clucky the backyard hen.

It’s part of the back-to-the-land movement for people who want to lower their grocery bills, eat local, and reduce their carbon footprint, according to a story by Adrian Higgins in the Washington Post.

‘Chickens are America’s cool new pet,’ says Dave Belanger, quoted in the Post article. Belanger is the publisher of Backyard Poultry magazine, launched three years ago. When he first began publishing, he hoped for a circulation of 15 to 20,000. The bimonthly publication today claims 100,000 readers.

Most municipalities that allow chicken keeping impose certain restrictions. You’re allowed to raise chickens for eggs, not meat. They must be enclosed in a coop or run. And it’s usually hens only—no crowing roosters to wake the neighbors at all hours. There’s typically a limit on the number of birds you can keep, and the coops or runs must be kept a certain distance from the neighbors’ homes.

City chicken ‘farmers’ claim the flavor of the backyard eggs is phenomenal, and well worth the effort needed to take care of the cluckers—and they say they’re really not much trouble to raise.

So, if you’re looking for a family pet, perhaps instead of a dog, cat or parakeet, you should consider feathering your nest with a small flock of layers.

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